As the competition progresses and we see the publishing of models to Asite, an interesting topic has cropped up regarding the train design itself.
As is traditional in the vast majority of transportation means, whether it be trains, planes, cars or bikes, the matter of dealing with airflow is of great importance. From a train perspective we see the elaborate platypus design of the Japanese bullet trains, in terms of cars, airflow is the key component in any supercar or racing car design, often contributing more so than any mechanical process to the speed and handling capabilities.
The question therefore, is what happens in a new age, where in a vacuum and air flow is no longer a factor? Firstly looking at the image below, we see a highly streamlined layout, however there will be no or limited benefit to a less aerodynamically structured vessal, in favour of alternative more favourable layouts from a passenger perspective. Another key thought process for our teams, is now in the situation of a levitating train, but with no airflow to control downwards movement relying upon gravity alone, will this be stable enough to ensure safe transit?